Marijuana has been found to alleviate a number of medical conditions and has been used as medicine across many cultures dating as far back as the Neolithic Period. It has been found to be greatly effective in decreasing nausea and vomiting as well as increasing diminished appetite for those in chemotherapy and those suffering from AIDS.
Cannabis is used to treat chronic pain, including pain caused by neuropathy and possibly also due to fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. It has been used to treat muscle spasticity. Certain cannabis strains have been found to be effective as an anticonvulsant, reducing the frequency of seizures in children and adults with epilepsy. Because of this application, the strains being used for such treatment are now being cultivated to have very low THC content, but high cannabidiol (CBD) content. Cannabidol is another compound in cannabis that is both non-psychoactive and that has a wider variety of medicinal applications.
Research is showing the CBD and other compounds in cannabis have great potential medicinal benefits. This video shows how the entire spectrum of chemicals in the plant react with the human brain in a way that we are just starting to understand--a process called the entourage effect.
Medical cannabis can be administered using a variety of methods, including vaporizing or smoking dried cannabis flowers, eating extracts, and taking capsules. Synthetic cannabinoids are also available as prescription drugs in some countries; e.g. dronabinol (available in the US and Canada) and nabilone (available in Canada, Mexico, the UK and the US).
In addition, there is emerging evidence that cannabis may have anti-carcinogenic, anti-tumor, and anti-cancerous effects, with potential efficacy on breast and lung cancer cells. There has been some evidence of cannabis lessening the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. Emerging evidence suggests that CBD may help slow cell damage in diabetes type 1.
Research has also been done or is underway on the therapeutic value of cannabis on glaucoma, Tourette's Syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.